INEC Moves Kogi Election Materials to Abuja over Attacks

INEC Chairman Mahmood Yakubu

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has moved the documents and materials used for the November 11 Kogi State governorship election from its office in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, to Abuja.

The National Chairman of INEC, Prof Mahmoud Yakubu, was said to have ordered the removal of the election materials for security reasons.

The electoral materials were loaded in no fewer than four trucks on Friday afternoon under heavy security, as they departed for the Federal Capital Territory.

The materials moved to Abuja include election results, BVAS and other relevant sensitive documents used in the election.

An INEC official who spoke on condition of anonymity said the order was from above and that it was in order to ease the smooth operation of the Kogi State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal.

The source stated, “The materials used in prosecuting the November 11 governorship election are no longer safe here (in Kogi) because of incessant attacks on INEC officials, offices and tribunal members by thugs sponsored by unknown politicians. Therefore, the commission ordered the removal of the materials to a safe place.”

The tribunal earlier moved its sitting to the National Judicial Council complex in Jabi, Abuja because of the security threats in Lokoja.

The attack on INEC’s office in Lokoja and the threat to the safety of the electoral materials used in the election was confirmed by both the INEC and the Kogi State Police Command through separate statements recently.

INEC office in Lokoja came under attack by suspected thugs while the residence of the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Dr Hale Longpet, was attacked by gunmen on December 1, 2023. The commission noted that while no lives were lost, property was destroyed in the ensuing gun battle that lasted over 30 minutes.

Also, the Secretary of the Kogi State Election Petitions Tribunal, David Mike, was recently ambushed and almost beaten to a pulp on his way to court while petition documents were seized by the thugs.

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